Venice, California Street Corner To Become Japanese American Memorial Site

The following is a press release from the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee.

Contact: Suzanne Thompson
Phone: (310) 570-5419

LOS ANGELES — On September 11, 2010, former Manzanar internees and their families along with community leaders, elected officials, educators, historians and concerned citizens will meet at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM in West Los Angeles to discuss the appearance and scope of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker (VJAMM), located at Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 12371 Braddock Drive, Los Angeles, California 90066.

This meeting will be facilitated by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker (VJAMM) Committee, an ad hoc group comprised of former internees and concerned citizens whose goal is to erect a memorial for the purpose of honoring Venice-area Americans of Japanese descent who were ordered, per the U.S. Government’s “Civil Exclusion Orders,” to abandon their homes, business and possessions and then, although having committed no crime, were imprisoned.

The proposed site for this memorial, 933 1/2 Venice Boulevard, is the address of the former “Civil Control Station” where, in April, 1942, local residents reported and then boarded buses to the Manzanar War Relocation Authority camp, where they would spend the next three years of their lives. While most Venice residents remain unaware of the role this heavily traveled intersection played in the lives of many of their former and current neighbors, the spot is one that continues to affect the lives of those ordered there almost seventy years ago.

“I have such a personal connection to this corner, and I always point out this location to any of my passengers as we drive by,” said Arthur Maeda, a native of Santa Monica, California. “I always have had a very visceral, emotional response to even thinking about my incarceration. But with discussion of this marker, my negative feelings have somehow dissipated and have been replaced with feelings of hope.”

The VJAMM has already received the support of District 11 Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who filed a motion before the Los Angeles City Council that the Bureau of Street Services, Planning Department and Department of Transportation “…be directed to report with recommendations for the installation of a commemorative marker at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards to commemorate the start of the internment of hundreds of Japanese and Japanese Americans living in the Venice community.”

Other supporters include: Beyond Baroque, Free Venice Beachhead, UCLA Nikkei Student Union, Japanese American Citizens League (Culver-Venice Chapter), Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), Venice Arts Council, Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice High School Alumni Association, Venice High School New Media Academy students, Venice Historical Society, Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Venice Japanese Community Center, Venice Neighborhood Council, Venice Peace and Freedom Party and the Venice Town Council.

This meeting is open to all interested supporters, including artists and financial backers.

For more information about this meeting or the VJAMM project, please visit

Related stories from Free Venice Beachhead:
Venice High Students Push For Memorial For Japanese
Support Building for Japanese Internment Memorial at Venice and Lincoln Boulevards
Students Continue Campaign for Memorial for Japanese Who Were Taken to World War II Camps
More Letters From Students In Support of Memorial Marker at Venice and Lincoln Blvds.
Remarks of Former Internee Arnold Maeda to the Venice Neighborhood Council

Other Related Stories:
The Argonaut: Venice Memorial Planned To Mark Location Where Japanese Americans Departed For World War II Relocation Camps

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